The myriad of supplementation products is inescapable within the fitness industry; even on the high street you can now expect to come across a wide range of supplements with a whole host of claims attached. With such a large quantity of products to choose from, how do we know which ones we need (if any at all) and which are a waste of our money?
First and foremost, supplements are not a quick fix and a substitute for hard work. You cannot expect great changes in your body from a supplement and the majority of us don't need any unless a deficiency is diagnosed. They are simply a 'supplement', NOT a substitute for a balanced diet. If you are not getting the results you want from your current training and nutrition, get in contact with me for help with nutrition plans and training programs rather than heading straight for Holland & Barrett!
Along with the more traditional supplements of vitamins and minerals, it is now becoming more commonplace to see products such as 'Skinny Coffee' and 'Boom Bod' on the shelves, as well as being heavily advertised on social media by influencers. The claims of these products are inherently false, as it is simply impossible to lose fat by drinking a mixture of coffee and green tea - the only way you will only lose weight by drinking them is due to their laxative effects! It therefore goes without saying that this type of supplement is definitely not required, and is actively discouraged by myself along with all other fitness professionals.
However, once you have balanced, nutritious diet and a great training program from Sterling Fitness, some supplements may be useful if recommended by your Personal Trainer. Nutrition and the specifics of a clients diet are very personal and will vary greatly between individuals, but below are some of the supplements I will recommend, if any.
Protein is an important macronutrient in the process of building and maintaining all types of body tissue, including muscle, and also when looking to lose fat.
It contains amino acids which are the building blocks used for muscle growth. Whey protein is a great way to quickly and conveniently up your protein intake if you find it difficult to get enough protein into your diet, however by simply eating high protein foods such as white meat, fish and eggs, most people should consume plenty of protein without supplementation.
Creatine is one of the most researched supplements around, and allows your muscles to retain more water, thus helping them to work more efficiently. Most people will see an increase in strength, power and size by taking creatine regularly. It is however found naturally in your body and can be consumed in small quantities by eating red meat, eggs and dairy, so for general fitness and weight loss it's not necessary to supplement with creatine. Although, if your goal is muscle gain, strength or power training, it is definitely something to consider.
So in answer to the title of this blog - no - in general, we don't need supplements, but they can be helpful in some cases. It's important to remember that supplementation will make a minuscule difference in comparison to the right training and nutrition. If this is something you need help with, don't hesitate to get in contact with me for Personal Training, Online Programming and Nutrition Advice.